The Mattress Factory has become known for opening up opportunities for established and emerging artists. Now the museum on the north side launched a new international open call for artist residencies and solo exhibitions. And this time with the help of a few familiar faces.
“The Mattress Factory is used to hosting open international appeals, so it’s nothing new, but what’s new is the format, in that the review board is made up entirely of artists who have already exhibited at Mattress Factory, ”explains MF’s artistic director. Ian Alden Russell. “The decision to have artists as evaluators is part of an ongoing commitment to center the voices of artists and to decenter the voice of the institution in the way our programs are formed. Our hope is that the International Open Call will be a renewal of the unique identity of Mattress Factory as a space run by artists, for artists.
The Artist Review Board will shape the MF’s upcoming programs by reviewing applications and selecting artists who will be offered residencies and solo exhibitions. The International Open Call is open to “artists from around the world as well as around the corner”, with a deadline of December 10th.
The artists forming the Artist Review Committee for the 2021 International Open Call are Vanessa German, Sohrab Kashani, Christopher Meerdo and Sarah Oppenheimer, whose work 610-3356 2008 is on permanent display at MF. Meerdo and Kashani were part of previous factory-set exhibitions, and German has been on display at the museum several times over the past two decades.
Russell says the museum recently launched a new open appeal for artists within a 75-mile radius of Pittsburgh, whose submissions will be reviewed by a visiting curator from outside the region. “The regional open call will increase the visibility of local Pittsburgh and regional artists in the art world at large,” adds Russell.
According to a statement, artists are free to explore wherever their process takes them during their residency. The museum “will support each artist’s process from development to production and installation to exhibition.”
Personal exhibitions resulting from residences will open in spring 2023 and beyond.
Submissions for the MF International Open Call will be accepted until December 10 at 4:59 pm For more information, visit mfioc2021.artcall.org.